With the right travel tips, Disneyland is one of the best experiences you can have with your children, especially if they are under 10.
There is a lot of hype about it, and for good reason, but a bit of research and careful planning can enhance the experience.
Here are the Disneyland travel tips I wish I knew before I went:
- It’s expensive to get there, stay there, walk in the gates (US$99 for adults, US$93 for children 3-9), and everything in there from food to Minnie Mouse ears will cost you a lot. Disney’s parks and resorts made $3.8 billion in revenue in 2015. It’s no wonder. The great news – air is free 🙂
- There are two parks in California – Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park and being brutally honest, you really only need to go to Disneyland. There’s plenty in that theme park alone. I mean, you’re there to see Mickey and the gang and have that once-in-a-lifetime Disney experience. You don’t need to overload it, especially on the first visit.
- You also get fast passes to use in the park to get on rides faster, and the hotels offer breakfast with the characters, as well as gorgeous touches like Disney music in your room before bed. (Trust me, when you’re there, it doesn’t seem kitsch).
- Unlike the majority of Australia’s theme parks, there are healthy food options within the parks themselves, including fresh fruit, frozen bananas and hummus and crackers. Michelle Obama was one of the influencers to insist on healthy alternatives.
- You can pay for a VIP tour and literally go on every ride in one day, not que for anything and meet as many characters as you wish. I strongly recommend this, as it is without doubt the single best way to see Disneyland. There are no ques, VIP access to the characters, and a guy who knows EVERYTHING there is to know about the park. Cost? Minimum US$315 an hour depending on the time of year, and you must pay a minimum of six hours.
Next time, I would choose to do this for one day, and return to LA afterwards.
- There is an app with EVERYTHING on it from the queing times of rides to where the characters are, ride closures, everything. You need this when there. The app is simply called Disneyland.
- The night parade and subsequent fireworks display are much better than you may think. The Parade is magical, with gorgeous floats lit up, characters galore, music, dancing and a whole lot of fun. The fireworks rival Sydney’s on New Years Eve – yep, that good.
- Walt Disney, the man, is worth reading about before you go, as the park and the growth of Disneyland the business is all down to this one man who had a dream, and the park honours him at every turn, as they should. It’s what dreams are made of, especially in America.
- Take photos of everything, as the experience in hindsight carries a lot more weight than it does when your’e actually there lining up, waiting for characters and trying to keep everyone in your group happy. Just don’t take your selfie stick, as they are banned. Odd – I know!